Moar Alex Smith, Please
Shawn Siegele made the case for Alex Smith as your fantasy QB back in February. More recently we’ve touted Smith as a better option than Philip Rivers.
Here’s some more table-pounding for Alex Smith.
Check out Smith’s recent ADP in 12 team leagues, courtesy Fantasy Football Calculator.
Yup, that’s him all the way down there at 26th overall. Tim Tebow is being drafted ahead of him (although on a small number of mocks). Also going before Smith are Philip Rivers and Michael Vick, and they may not be fantasy relevant anymore.
So why should we pay attention to Alex Smith? We’ve liked Alex Smith around here for months now. Shawn Siegele made the case for Alex Smith as your fantasy QB back in February. More recently he’s touted Alex Smith as someone to build your QB strategy around. Then there’s this:
Alex Smith averaged 0.53 FP per pass attempt in his last 26 full games on 27.8 PA per game. Andy Reid’s PHI teams have averaged 36.6 PA.
— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) July 18, 2013
When I saw this tweet last night, my first thought was “mmm, potato chips.” But my second thought was “whoa, maybe we’re still underestimating him.”
So I came up with the following table. It shows three fantasy point per attempt rates for Alex Smith: his career average (.52), his average over the past four seasons (.6), and his average from last year (.72). Then it shows three different attempt per game scenarios: one where his attempts/game match his career average, one where his attempts/game match Andy Reid’s average over the past four seasons, and a compromise showing the average of Smith’s career and Reid’s four year QB attempts/game. Projected fantasy points/game based on 6 points/TD.
|0.52 FP/Att||0.6 FP/Att||.72 FP/Att|
|28.69 Smith Career Att/G||14.92||17.21||20.94|
|32.21 Ave Att/G||16.75||19.32||23.58|
|35.72 Reid Att/G||18.57||21.43||26.08|
Smith probably won’t finish 2013 as the second best fantasy QB. But it seems likely he could finish as a startable QB1, which is a good return for a 14th round draft pick. Comparing this “Medium” projection to the mid-level projections of other likely QB starters using the QB Similarity App, Smith projects to come in at QB10. And if Smith generates his four-year average of 0.6 fantasy points/attempt and the Chiefs throws it 35 times a game, like Reid did in Philly? Smith’s mid-level projection of 21.43 points/game would put him at QB2 vs. all other QBs mid-level projections in our similarity app.
But we’ll stay somewhat conservative and just focus on that middle projection: The Chiefs average 32 pass attempts/game or so, and Smith performs at his four year average rate of 0.6 fantasy points/attempt. That’s 19.32 fantasy points/game, people. Personally, I expect Reid’s Chiefs to throw the ball a lot, just like the Eagles did. Remember, Reid was chucking it 35 times a game with Vick, Kolb, Foles, and end of the line McNabb at QB.